Monday, February 20, 2012

Sewn Paper Garland & Ornaments

I was cruising around craft sites one day and I ran across something that I had never seen or ever imagined to be possible before...sewing paper on a sewing machine.  Of course I had to give it a shot and see if it was really possible.  Low and behold, it worked.  I had a lot of fun experimenting with it and ended up making a very simple garland and dangling ornaments. 

Here is my sheet music garland.

Here is the sheet music dangling ornament.

Being a musician, I typically always test the things out of printed music.  I had my trusty vintage hymnal close by when I began this project.  You can make these out of any type of paper you wish.  Be creative with your paper selection and make something to use for a birthday, baby or bridal shower, of course Christmas and any other holiday.  As you can well imagine, you can do much more intricate things with these sewn paper garlands and ornaments.  I stuck with the basics for this but will definately be trying some variations in the future.

Paper of choice
Circle pattern (I just used two different sized lids off of spice bottles)
Sewing machine & thread
Hole punch (if making ornaments

Instructions for Garland
  • Cut circles from your paper.  I chose to cut two different sizes for some added interest.

  • Begin by having an ample length of thread pulled from both the spool on top and the bobbin.  This will give you something to grab and pull your garland through the machine while sewing. 
  • Run one piece of paper through your sewing machine at a time.  You can either choose to sew the pieces end to end (pieces touching) or leave a random sized space in between each piece. 
    • To add space between pieces simply sew through one piece completely.  When you get to the end of the piece, continue pressing the pedal on your machine while pulling the sewn portion of your garland through.  This will cause the thread to twist together.  When the desired amount of space is achieved, slide another piece of paper under the presser foot and continue on.

Showing the process of pulling the piece through to add a gap.
  • When you have reached the desired length for your garland, run the machine a little further (without adding any paper pieces) to give you thread to hang your piece from.  Both ends can be trimmed back after you decide where and how you will hang your garland.
Instructions For Ornaments
  • Follow the same basic sewing instructions as above with the following changes.
  • Select your starting (top) paper piece and put a whole in the top using a paper punch.  this will provide a place to hang using either ribbon or an ornament hook.
  • Begin sewing right under the punched hole on your first piece.  Continue sewing pieces together as instructed above until you have reached your desired ornament length. 
  • Trim threads from the top and bottom.  Your ornament is ready to hang.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Christmas 2011 - Country White & Blue

My stairway is decorated year round with a few reclaimed pieces from my family.  For Christmas this year I decided to deck the pieces out in light blue (which is a first for me).  I paired it with white and silver and really like how it turned out. Every decoration in this space was from 75% or more clearance after Christmas 2010.  The ornaments and all trimmings came from about three different stores (mostly Walmart and Kmart).  I love doing something brand new but super cheap.

Salty Ornaments

I can't say enough about much how I love using the plain glass ornaments to make things myself.  These salted ornaments are really cool and super easy to make.  It's s very cheap project with great results.  This would be a good project to include with kids.  I will definetely be playing with some variations on this technique in the future...I'm thinking pastel colored cookie sugars for spring ornaments.

Glass ornament
Epsom salt
Glue stick
Tape (optional)


Let me first explain the optional tape.  I am a stickler for having anything handmade still look nice and presentable.  That being said, I used the tape to divide off nice even spaces with straight lines.  I have seen this technique used freehanded which results in a less precise finish.  It all depends on the look you are wanting to achieve.
  • Apply tape along your ornament as a guide to where you would like your salting technique to end.  You may choose to tape in different patterns and/or formations.  I simply divided the ornament in half.
    • If you chose to freehand your design, simply skip to the next step and apply the glue straight on to any part of the surface you would like salted.
  • Coat the entire portion of the ornament that you wish to salt with glue using a glue stick.  Be sure that you've evenly coated the area to ensure that salt will stick.
  • Dip the glued portion into the epsom salt.  I poured the salt into a bowl and simply rolled it in the pile.

  • Gently remove the tape (unless you chose to do the freehand method) and hand the ornament to dry.

Here is a shot with the flash on so you get a better look at the salt and glue after it's dried onto the ornament.  It really looks neat.